Although a small country, Switzerland is a destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list. From the spectacular and beautiful natural scenery to the diverse range of outdoor activities, there is something to suit every traveller. But, did you know that the Switzerland food scene spans beyond just Swiss chocolate and fondue? Teresa Richardson, MD of The Travel Corporation, parent company to guided holiday experts, Trafalgar, gives her take on eight delicious foods and drinks you need to try during your next visit to Switzerland.
1. Zopf bread
Zopf, which translates to braid, is a famous Swiss bread that contains milk and butter to give it a lovely soft texture. In Switzerland, Zopf bread is traditionally eaten on Sundays as a treat for breakfast or brunch and is often served with jams, fruits and teas.
2. Bündner Nusstorte
Also known as a Swiss nut tart, Bündner Nusstorte is a traditional dessert tart filled with delicious caramel and flavourful walnut. This true Swiss classic is often cut into pieces and served with coffee or tea. Care for a slice (or two)?
3. Cheese fondue
When someone says cheese fondue, you instantly think of Swiss food. For centuries, cheese fondue in Switzerland has been a staple item enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Dating back to the 18th century, fondue began in Switzerland as a way to use aged cheeses and breads to feed families during the winter months when fresh foods weren’t plentiful. As the cheeses and breads became stale they became harder to eat, so locals found that if they heated the cheeses with wines, garlic and seasonings, they could dip the bread into it and make it easier to eat. Today, fondue is enjoyed using a communal pot (also known as a caquelon) over a portable and heated stove and eaten by dipping bread cubes using long-stemmed forks.
Although a simple dish, rösti is absolutely delicious! Consisting of shredded potatoes and fried with butter until crispy and golden brown, rösti is often served at breakfast or as a side dish. Looking to add a little extra flavour? This iconic and national dish can often be paired with onions, spices, cheese, vegetable broth and more.
5. Berner Platte
Berner platte is a traditional food platter and a Switzerland food staple. Consisting of various meats and sausages such as beef, smoked pork, beef tongue and more, it’s cooked with sauerkraut flavours and juniper and accompanied by potatoes, beans and sauerkraut.
Did you know that Switzerland is actually one of the world’s largest wine-producing countries per capita? But, you will more than likely need to travel to Switzerland to have a taste for yourselves as only a small percentage of the country’s wine is exported. The main wine producing regions of Switzerland include Geneva, Neuchâtel and Graubüden and over 200 grape varieties are grown in the country. Trafalgar’s Best of Switzerland trip takes travellers on a Be My Guest visit to the 15th century terraced vineyards of the Lavaux, a Unesco world heritage site, to explore Swiss wine traditions over lunch.
7. Swiss chocolate
In the 19th century, Swiss chocolate started to gain its reputation abroad. So, why do Switzerland and chocolate go hand in hand? Well, Switzerland has prided itself on producing the finest quality of chocolate that is both world-renowned and affordable. “Swiss chocolates make a great souvenir to give to your family and friends back home to enjoy. Just try not to eat them all yourself before you get home,” says Richardson.
The name is a mouthful. This traditional Swiss dish is a combination of macaroni pasta, potatoes, cheese and onions and is often known as the Swiss version of American macaroni and cheese. It’s best served with a side of apple sauce. vIf you’re keen to take a bite out of Switzerland’s more unusual culinary options, visit www.trafalgar.com